From 1 October 2015, the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 will come into force which requires private sector landlords to have smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties.
This will mean that – for the safety of tenants –landlords will need to ensure that at least one smoke alarm is installed on every storey of their properties - even where only a bathroom is located - as well as a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (e.g. a wood burning stove, a coal fire, an open fire place or where biomass is used as fuel).
And, leading up to the regulation coming into force and beyond, it’s not only going to be very important for the landlord to comply with the new regulation but to also ensure that they make their tenants understand their role in this too.
In brief it means
- For any new tenancy or relet beginning on or after 1 October 2015, a landlord, or someone representing the landlord, must check that the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms, as required under the regulation, are in working order on the FIRST Day of the tenancy.
- for any existing let, landlords will need to ensure that alarms are fitted in the properties with effect from 1 October.
- From 1 October 2015, once the alarms are fitted, landlords will need to make sure that their tenants are aware that it is their responsibility to check that the alarms are in working order on a regular basis. The Department for Community and Local Government recommend that this is on a monthly basis although this is not enforceable. And, if they are not working properly, they will need to understand how to report the fault to the landlord.
- Looking ahead local authorities will be responsible for checking rental properties to ensure they comply with the regulation and, if they have reasonable grounds to believe there is a breach of the regulation, a remedial notice will be issued and details provided about what action is required by the landlord – within the following 28 days. Failure to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms could, however, lead to landlords facing sanctions and receiving a penalty of up to £5,000 – as well as, of course, risking the health and safety of their tenants.
Overall it’s important that landlords act as soon as possible to ensure compliance with the new regulation and, should they want to find out how Your Move could help, they can simply contact 0800 014 9334 to speak to one of the specialist Your Move teams about the Your Move services on offer and, for further details about lettings regulation generally, visit https://www.your-move.co.uk/landlords/guides/lettings-legislation-and-safety-regulations